Neriah: Senior Portraits with a Ballet Dancer

This is a memory that I’ll always look back on and cherish. In a lot of ways, this was the first time I had ever worked with Neriah, but I have been photographing her on stage for years. She also holds a special spot in my heart for the time spent alongside my daughter during her very first year dancing as the teacher’s assistant. Zoey still reminisces about their time together to this day, it is one of the ways Neriah’s amazing personality has shown through to me over the years.

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I’ve had the best time watching her perform in The Lion King, and Clara’s Dream, as well as numerous weekly rehearsals where the little ones watch from the doorway dreaming of the day they are that graceful.

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A photo posted by Nina Say (@ninasay) on

As I’m sure you can imagine, this project was something I had been looking forward to for a long time. It allowed me to get to know an amazing performer on a personal level.

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Never before have I had the opportunity to get to know the person I was taking photos of. Shooting performance is amazing but there’s a lot more going on, a lot more subjects to capture, and more to see. In short, I can’t sit and chat with everyone without being a major nuisance.

I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, I learned so much.

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I learned how many things we have in common, including the love of photography and books.

It was hard for me not to see how amazing this young woman is.

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And there were the ducks…who we jokingly said would be adorable to have a photo of. Little did we know they’d follow us around for a few minutes…

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